Ettleton - Walk 2

  • Distance: 4km/2.5miles
  • Start/Finish: Douglas Square, Newcastleton
  • Terrain: Generally good paths and minor roads, boots or strong shoes recommended
  • Toilet: at the start
  • Refreshments: in Newcastleton

1. From Douglas Square walk south along the main street, just past the football pitch is a track on the right, follow the track as it crosses the old railway line and bends to the left, quaintly known as Boosie Plantation.

2. The track bends right again. Take the 1st track on the left which runs across the slope and is quite rough in places. To left and right you can see the remains of fence and hedge lines delineating the pattern of small fields once worked by the villagers.

3. Continue with the track for about 800 metres. Near its end turn right along a lone of old beech trees, the remains of an ancient hedge. In about 100 metres go left on a rough path down the bank. Cross the small burn and follow the fence up to the right. It will bring you to a stile leading into the newer part of Ettleton Cemetery.

4.Turn right through the gap in the wall to walk up through the older graveyard, there was once a church here about 400 years ago, but there is now no trace of it or the settlement of Ettleton. What remains is a highly atmospheric place worth spending a little time in. It commands a fine view across Liddesdale and is beautifully maintained.

Old Tombstones bare such feature as a millers trade mark and a tall obelisk records the unusual death of William Armstrong, a farmer at Sorbietrees. He was shot without challenge or warning by Reverend Joseph Smith incumbent at Walton, Cumberland in April 1851, aged 37. It must have been a notable event at the time and the obelisk was erected by a numerous body of friends on both sides of the border.

In a railed enclosure there are fragments of very early medieval stones decorated with swords, shears and other symbols. Another large memorial commemorates members of the Black family including Reverend John Black, minister here for 50 years. He is described as a man of genius who lived his life quietly amongst these hills.

Next to him is a tablet to his eldest son William, who was lost at sea off the coast of China in 1870 aged just 20. There are many other stones worthy of study.

5. When you're ready to leave, follow the narrow cemetery access road as it twists down the hill to meet the main road at Milnholm Cross medieval monument, believed to have been erected in 1320 to commemorate Alexander Armstrong, a predominant clansman who was murdered at Hermitage Castle. It is thought that the funeral party rested here before climbing the hill to Ettleton churchyard. The cross which carries the clear initials AA, stands nears the site of former buildings belonging to the farm of Milholm and looks across the river to the walls of Mangerton Mill.

6. Turn left along the main road and walk back towards the village for the final section, you can if you wish, go down the steps go down the steps at the Holm bridge and walk along the river bank path.